Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A BLACK SQUIRREL COMES TO VISIT


So we're at home in town the other day, and I spot this in the backyard.  Apologies for the picture quality, I had to zoom in from the back door so I wouldn't scare him/her off before I could get some pictures.

It's a "Black Squirrel".  They are fairly rare in these parts, and not as common elsewhere as the grey or brown squirrel, but our neighborhood happens to be home to a small colony of them.  They are very neat to see since they look so different from all the other squirrels we see on a daily basis.

Apparently, some lovely nuts were hidden away in the potted Arbequina Olive tree (put there in the Winter?) and made for a wonderful snack.

Thanks for stopping by little black squirrel!


21 comments:

Ren said...

Black squirrels are popular in my neighborhood.. We call them 'squirrel bullies' because they are the meanest squirrels ever.. They chase the other squirrels way from their homes and steal their food..
Sure are pretty though..

Sandy said...

1st Man,

This little squirrel is cute. Watch out, he/she may invade your garden.

Mary Ann said...

That is so beautiful! I have seen some in Iowa at my in laws, but never, ever around here in Kansas.

kymber said...

teehee, get ready 1st and 2nd Man - it's another big-*ssed comment from kymber. we have always fed squirrels peanuts with the shells on at every place we lived. no, we were never popular with the neighbours - bahahahah! we feed the squirrels here but the only kind we have are tiny little red ones. however back at one place we lived, squirrels were obviously coming through the cat doors - little buggers! we had a wall of bookshelves in our living room and we had about 20 houseplants on the tops. there was always dirt on the shelves when i would get home from work - i could never figure it out. then one evening, we are up in our computer room together. and we hear some scratching. jam had somehow lost a whole bag of reeses pieces a few nights before. we couldn't understand it. i thought he was nuts. but yep, there we are sitting at the computer when we glance over and find a squirrel in a plant pot, digging like mad. and guess what he dug up??? a reeses pieces which he then sat in the pot and ate. with us sitting there? and him with not a care in the world??? we checked another plant pot or two throughout the house - 3 stories - and there was a reeses pieces in all of them - bahahahahah! we let them be...and enjoyed when our little squirrel friends came into the house to get their stashes!!!

i am glad that you just let the little man/woman be. they say that you can judge a man's character by how he treats animals. i believe this to be true. Genesis says that we have domain over all of the animals. we are stewards of the land. i believe this to be true as well.

your friend,
kymber

DFW said...

We had a an Albino one once, that our cat eradicated, never black ones. I think the grey gang in our neighborhood would just run them off.

Lorilee said...

Oh wow, I had never heard of a black squirrel! Interesting.
Blessings,
Lorilee

Ellen in Oregon said...

So glad you caught a picture of this squirrel. I have never seen a black squirrel and I do not think they live on the west Coast, so I enjoyed your photo. My Mom used to have 4-5 generations of brown squirrels who would use her backyard as a daycare to drop the young one off for the day while the adults went about their business. They used the suburban fences as their highway to come & go to the giant oak tree at the top of the hill. I guess the parents thought the fensed yard and young trees made for an safe place to leave their young ones for much of the day. My Mom, who was in love with their cuteness, but lived in fear that they would run up her leg and attack, foolishly began to buy hugh bags a shelled peanuts to give them a treat. The squirrels got so denanding that they would come up to the sliding glass door each morning & forcefully knock/bang on the glass, all the time jumping up & down, trying to catch the attention of my Mom while she was making coffee. This ruckous would not stop until peanuts were liberally thrown on the proch. There was always a pair of blue jays that would battle with the squirrels to gather as many nuts as possible and then beg for more. The jays hid their share in the roof gutters & the squirrels used every planters & flower pot for hiding them after eating their fill. While squirrels are pushy & demanding creatures, their cleaverness & funny antics make up for their lack of manners. I once read that when a squirrel hide a nut they take 8-10 photos of the precise location & depth of each nut. Months later they retrieve the photos from their memory and it allows them to find each nut over the Winter.
The kind of squirrels we have in Portland have been causing a new kind of trouble the past few years. They squirrels started tearing up all the wires in car engines when they decided a warm car engine was a good place to nest in the cold weather. Urbanites were not too happy with the cost of repairs & no way to keep the squirrels from repeating the damage. I hope your beautiful creatures stay out of too much trouble. Once you start feeding them, more are sure to come. Squirrels never leave a good spot with a regular source of food.

Annie*s Granny said...

How pretty! I didn't even know there was such a creature. We have a lot of squirrels, and they are very brave. I was out picking pole beans yesterday, and I was standing between the fence and the bean trellis. They are very close together, so my head was resting back against the cedar fence. Two squirrels came right on across the top of that fence, just 8 inches from my head (I'm 5'4", the fence is 6'). Scared the crap out of me, but the squirrels weren't scared at all! Our neighbor's two walnut trees are their source of food, and they bury the walnuts everywhere. I'm always digging up walnut tree saplings from flower and vegetable gardens. I've even watched them dig up the lawn and bury them there.

Linda said...

I have never seen a black squirrel. However, I am not one to feed, encourage, or like squirrels since they tear up so many homes. They even get into houses and do damage in the living areas. But, it is a cute and novel squirrel.

Kris said...

Black squirrels ARE grey squirrels. They are the same species, just have different pigment. I agree with Ren. The blacks are much more beligerent than greys. They tear up birds nests, eat eggs, bully the fox squirrels, etc. So if you have greys, you will have some blacks. Here we have grey/black, fox, Eastern red and flying squirrels here in Ohio. They are as smart as monkeys, get into everything and I'm just glad they don't have thumbs. :-D

1st Man said...

Ha, squirrel bullies. That's funny! I haven't seen them with the other 'regular' squirrels but now I'm going to watch out for them. They are very pretty, such an unusual sight to see.

1st Man said...

I bet that's true. It's weird though we don't see many squirrels in the yard for some reason. Even this one, despite being an unusual black one, is different to see one hanging around.

1st Man said...

They are definitely "lookers". ;-)

1st Man said...

I'll take your big *assed comments all the time. Love it! What a great story!! I think that would be so cool to see. Speaking of cat doors, had a family friend that once had an unwelcome visitor come through their door...a skunk! Yep, had to hire professional cleaners to come in and clean the mess up but I swear a year later you could still smell it if you knew what had happened.

I guess chocolate doesn't hurt squirrels, ha. I could just see you and J watching the squirrels.

It never even occurred to me to run him/her off. I was just enjoying watching nature coexist with us. :-)

1st Man said...

An albino? I bet that was a sight to see. Well, as long as you could see it before "the incident", HA!

1st Man said...

I've lived in Houston 30+ years and have only seen them the last few years and only then rarely. It's kind of neat to see, I guess because it's so unusual looking.

1st Man said...

What a great post, thanks for sharing, love it!! You know, when I went to college here in town (U of H), they were so used to being fed by students, that they would follow you like dogs all over the place. They could get aggressive, as in forceful and demanding and pushy, but so far as I know, no one was ever bitten. LIke you said, they do make up for it in just watching them play and bounce around, up a tree and down a tree.

Thanks again, loved it!!

1st Man said...

Very pretty and unique looking for sure. I bet that would scare you, it would scare me, ha. I've pulled up oak tree saplings from pots where acorns were buried. They are prolific that's for sure. Now if we could just get them to run ALL THE WAY across the road instead of stopping, doubling back, then turning and going the other direction, ha.

1st Man said...

Definitely novel, great way of describing it. I never have had any problems inside but I have heard that that can be a problem. I wish they could just do their cute thing and not cause problems, ha.

1st Man said...

Ha, so true. I wish I could see some blacks and greys interact. Of course if there are only black ones around probably because they've run off the others, lol. I've heard of flying squirrels in East Texas but have never seen one. Thanks for the insight!!

Kris said...

Here's a link to a post with pic of grey/black & fox squirrels together. squirrels. PS - flying squirrels are nocturnal so hard to spot.